God will never force His way into a human
So here is the prescription and a
simple one at that. To receive the "Holy Ghost," the
charismatics say, just empty your mind and think of Jesus; focus your
thoughts on Christ. Yes, but even the devil does this. Thus, that in
itself is no guarantee of a direct contact with Christ. But next, while
in a mental void, bypassing the intellect, begin to utter sounds,
perhaps "strange and unnatural to your ear"; but be confident,
for they say, "this is the beginning of your speaking the language
of heaven." Another prayer instruction urges its participants to
repeat the same words over and over and over again until after
approximately ten or more minutes the supplicant starts to stumble over
his words. "Talk faster than you normally would," they exhort,
"this will help you to reach the stage where the Holy Spirit takes
over." In relation to these activities, Raymond Frame, a former
missionary, justly warns: "Evil spirits can easily find opportunity
to operate in the believer’s emotional life—especially when the
believer is persuaded to suspend all intellectual activity and to yield
his will over to an invisible intelligence (whom the Christian, of
course, is persuaded to regard as being the Holy Spirit Himself). For
this reason the child of God who becomes preoccupied with that least of
all gifts, tongues, places himself in a particularly vulnerable position
in relation to the danger of demon depression, obsession, or actual
possession."—Raymond Frame, "Something Unusual," His,
December, 1963, p. 26.
To this view every true Christian will
agree: God will never force His way into a human life; but Satan, seeing
a void mind eagerly begging for a manifestation of the supernatural,
will gladly move in and create within him a counterfeit experience,
reputedly caused by the Holy Spirit. Would it be presumptuous to think
that Satan might direct tempting power to those who are eagerly reaching
beyond Christ for a "shortcut" to salvation?
To what extent a number of tongues
speakers will go to make themselves available to the influx of their
"Holy Spirit" is quoted by Samarin: "Keeping one’s
hands lifted seems to be (or to have been) one of the traditional
Pentecostal practices. Several of my respondents refer to instructions
about how one was to hold his mouth and breathe."—Samarin, op.
cit., p. 54.
J.E. Styles may have been the
propagator of this form of inducement. He writes: "Recently I have
discovered, through observation of a number of people, that those people
who will open their mouths up wide will break forth speaking with
tongues more clearly and easily than those who do not. Opening the mouth
and breathing in constitutes a step of faith that God will honor."
Others claim still different
experiences while pleading for the Spirit. It has been reported that Cho
Yonggi, a converted Buddhist and presently a minister in Seoul, Korea,
tells the following story in connection with his prayer for Divine
intervention: "I saw the Lord … and I said to Him, ‘Yes, Jesus,
I will preach your gospel.’ I tried to touch His feet. As soon as I
touched His clothes, what seemed to be a thousand volts of electricity
flowed into me and I began to shake. Then strange words came to my mouth
and I began to speak in other tongues." Quoted by Gromacki, op.
cit., p. 40.
At this point more examples of the
unusual behavior and phenomena associated with many of the tongues
advocates and speakers can be furnished; their often exorbitant claims
are simply too overwhelming. It may, however, be more appropriate to
compare today’s desperate attempts with the original Pentecostal
experience and see where or if the two harmonize.
what are the facts?